TUALATIN, OR - JUNE 26: Chael Sonnen rests after a workout at the Team Quest gym on June 26, 2012 in Tualatin, Oregon. Sonnen will fight Anderson Silva July 7, 2012 at UFC 148 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
An as yet unexplored (at least as much as everything else) aspect of the UFC 151 controversy involving Dan Henderson, Chael Sonnen and Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones, is the nature of Sonnen's tactical approach to the situation.
Some reports have stated "Hendo" was injured some three weeks ago and simply tried to soldier on. It wasn't until around 10 days before fight night, which was scheduled for Sat., Sept. 1, 2012, in Las Vegas, Nevada, that he finally bit the bullet and pulled out.
It was then that the company went into full scramble mode and called up Sonnen, who was eagerly awaiting his opportunity and immediately accepted the short notice bout.
Jones quickly declined, and UFC 151 was officially cancelled.
The reason given by "Bones" and his camp is that eight days was simply not enough time to prepare for a change in opponent. UFC President Dana White, among countless others, made the case that Sonnen is basically the same fighter Henderson is but with less power in his hands. Plus, he was sitting on the sidelines, not training and getting fat.
But is that true? Mike Winkeljohn doesn't think so. In fact, he told Bloody Elbow he thinks Sonnen had planned a "surprise attack like Pearl Harbor."
"Enough's enough. I can't sit back on the sidelines any longer. All I can say to everybody, don't put this on Jon. There are others to blame. This UFC 151 problem should have been resolved weeks ago. Chael Sonnen is a smart guy with cardio for days. He has relentless takedowns and is a much different fighter than Dan Henderson. How long has Chael been attacking Jon in the media? Hmm. He's a man known for moneymaking schemes and cheating by bending the rules. And he's done this in various arenas. I think Chael played almost everyone like a fiddle. But I believe like a coward he tried to train and strike Jon when Jon wasn't looking. But hey, Jon is a warrior, and he, actually we, saw it coming. All I can say to Chael is nice try. Jon vs Sonnen. With no surprise attacks like Pearl Harbor. That's a fight I want to see. Jon will win the war, and I think the UFC should capitalize on it."
Silly comparison aside, Winkeljohn has put two and two together and concluded it's entirely possible Sonnen wasn't on the sidelines getting fat like everyone thought he was.
It would seem to make sense that Sonnen started trashing Jones a few weeks ago and that was right around the same time Henderson got injured, information "The American Gangster" would be privy to.
Which means Sonnen knew what he was doing all along, tried to talk himself into a title fight once again, and was likely training for as much, knowing what was likely going to happen.
Sneaky sneaky, sir.
But while "Bones" had no interest in getting ambushed in "Sin City," he's more than willing to throw down when everyone knows the score and can prepare accordingly.
Sound good to y'all?